The district consumer co urt has ruled that a stu dent is entitled to refund of fees if the seat left vacant due to cancellation of admission is filled later by another student.
In an order on June 7, a three-member bench of the consumer court, headed by V P Utpat, directed All-India Shri Shivaji Memorial Society's (AISSMS) college of engi neering to refund Rs 88,204 -along with 9% p.a. interest since September 6, 2012 -and Rs 5,000 compensation to a student for disapproving her legitimate refund claim.
The interest component so far works out to Rs 37,707 and will keep growing till actual payment. Onkar G Patil and Kshitija B Kulkarni were the other two members of the consumer court bench that passed the order.
The college had contested the complainant-student's claim that it admitted another student after cancellation of her admission. It claimed that the other student's admission was confirmed in the Centralised Admission Process (CAP) round prior to cancellation of the complainant's admission. The college went on to cite rules by the technical education department that a student is not entitled for fees refund if admission is cancelled and the seat remains vacant.
The consumer court referred to the record relating to admission taken by the other student and observed, “It is significant to note that unless and until the student has de posited the fees, it cannot be said that his admission is confirmed. Record before the forum (consumer court) is eloquent about admission process. Hences, it is the considered opinion of this forum that admission of complainant was cancelled on September 6, 2012 and, thereafter, another student took admission in college on September 9, 2012. In these circumstances, complainant is entitled for refund of fees.“
In fact, the complainant had paid Rs 48,284 fees for her admission against OBC reserved seat on August 28, 2012. Ten days later, she sought cancellation of admission on health grounds and asked for refund and her original documents. The college told her that she won't get the originals unless she paid another Rs 39,920 to make up for an open category fees i.e. Rs 88,204 and the refund would be given only if another student takes admission against the seat vacated by her.
The bench observed, “There is no explanation given by opposite parties (AISSMS & the college) as to why complainant, who is belonging to OBC category was compelled to deposit entire fees which is required for open seat. These facts also amount to deficiency in service on the part of opposite parties.“